Leafcutter Bee (Megachile sp.) 3.jpg

 A leafcutter bee

A swarm of unruly bees menaced downtown Baton Rouge Thursday morning until a local hotel recommended a beekeeper, one they knew from their own rooftop beehive.

"This is a first," remarked Downtown Development District Director Davis Rhorer.

Workers, like those at clothier Bates & Thigpen, peered from behind closed glass doors around lunch time waiting for the insects to disperse. Around 11:30 a.m. the Third Street store called the district. Another person came into the office reporting she had been stung, but no one had a serious reaction, Rhorer said.

Police shut down the western sidewalk of Third Streeet between Laurel Street and Florida Street while waiting for the beekeeper to arrive. The local animal control office said it didn't respond to bee calls, but the nearby Hotel Indigo keeps honey bees and was able to recommend an apiarist, Rhorer continued.

The hotel serves honey from its rooftop garden at breakfast and in martinis at the hotel's bar, said director of sales Sandra Daire.

She said the bees started swarming in a tree on Lafayette Street earlier on Thursday before they moved to Third Street. By early afternoon the insects appeared to have mostly left that area as well.

Follow Steve Hardy on Twitter, @SteveRHardy.